The spiral staircases and hidden corridors backstage bring to mind a set from “Harry Potter,” but for techies, the world behind the curtain is nothing out of the ordinary.
From transforming the stage to directing lighting on opening night, tech crew oversees the production of shows at every stage of the process. The student-run crew received Cappie awards for best lighting for “Side Show” and best play for “Amadeus” in 2011.
“Every production is a massive undertaking,” said junior Matt Lewis, the head carpenter of production staff. “Meeting those challenges is what drives my fellow crew members and me.”
Because tech crew is student-run, the staff has full freedom in designing and producing elaborate sets, lighting and sound.
“The freedom we get on tech is incredible,” said junior Andrew Elman, lighting director. “There’s no adult or teacher telling us what to do. This is very difficult to find in high school theaters, and we are so lucky to have it.”
In the upcoming fall musical “Gyspy,” a stripper named Electra wears an extravagant costume equipped with lights. Renting the costume creates a challenge for the tech crew: if the outfit needs to be fixed, tech crew has to be careful not to repair the clothing too much, as tech will be held accountable for any damages to the outfit.
“It’s challenging and fast-paced when things go wrong,” Lewis said. “But when everything runs correctly it’s extremely gratifying. Either way, there’s a huge sense of accomplishment after every production.”
Tech crew expanded to about 25 members this year, a significant increase from the 15-member crew in the past. But the large group isn’t hindering the crew. If anything, it adds to the already strong sense of community within the group.
“After everyone survives hell week, there’s no chance that we’re not friends,” said senior Lydia Carroll, sound designer. “We’re a special family.”